This Good Friday, how are you going to spend it?
Would you be making hot cross buns in the kitchen?
Or perhaps, teach this nursery rhyme to your kiddos?
How about some finger printing/ craft and sharing the importance of the cross or the meaning behind Good Friday to others?
So, how’s your schedule like this Friday?
Thankfully, this is not the end for we look forward to ‘3 days later’.
Have a reflective Good Friday.
The boy is 2 weeks shy of turning 6 months old but I think it’s time that I start him on solids.
He has been showing interest in our food when we are at our dining table and could sit up well on the high chair. These are signs that he could be ready.
With Faith, our journey was a smooth one, thanks to Petit Bowl. I do recommend new parents to pay them a visit and attend their group sampling session and learn a thing or two about preparing solids for your little ones. Personally I was enriched.
This time round, I would make my own batch if time allows. Failing which I could still turn to Petit Bowl or commercial ones (note: I’m highly selective about this) for help! Alternatively, there are a good number of Youtube videos which could help you in this adventure. The most important thing is to have fun in the kitchen! I love this one from Farm to Table Baby Mama. Hope it will be of help to you!
The journey continues…
It must be tough being my daughter.
Maybe because I’ve no help at home, I expect Faith to be able to take care of herself, dress herself, feed herself, etc and I find myself unable to tolerate any ‘accident’ from her.
I forgot that she’s just a 39MO girl and that her motor skills, be it fine or gross, are still developing.
The other day, she peed out of her potty, thereby dirtying the floor and she got screamed at. I had cleaned the toilet twice that morning and thinking of having to clean it again irritated me.
I rushed out dinner that evening, thinking that I could finally relax since the hubs would be back soon and the girl had to knock the bowl of soup over. Oh, the table and the floor! Oh, oily stuff! Oh my!
I lashed out at her, “How old are you already? Are you still a baby? Can’t you eat properly?”
I lost it. Awful mom!
She had to endure my madness that day and I felt like a terrible mom. Oh Lord, I can’t do it anymore.
When I regained my sanity after a much-needed jog, I realised that this girl that God has blessed me with is indeed a wonderful gift. This book ‘Little Miss, Big Sis’ tells why.
She’s my great supporter when I was pregnant with the boy and together, we received her brother with joy.
She adores her brother from day 1.
Her love for him never wavers, no matter how much scolding she got because of him.
She sings to him, knowing that he will appreciate her songs.
And yes, this is true.
Not only does she supports her brother, she supports me by helping out whenever I need it. It could be simple things like getting a handkerchief to clean the drool off her brother’s mouth or clearing up the bathtub after cleaning the boy.
When I saw this book in the library, I knew I had to borrow and read it to Faith. The words are simple and the illustrations clear. Young children would be able to understand the story easily. Faith could identify with the experiences in the story. The above picture was taken rather spontaneously when I was reading to them. The girl was giggling all the way.
I think it’s only right to commend her for a job well done. She is truly a Little Miss, Big Sis.
I thought this book is good for girls who have been promoted to be big sisters to their siblings. We could also help them to anticipate what is to come as the baby grows. Manage their expectations, I say.
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My mother has always wanted to visit Japan to witness the bloom of cherry blossoms. So when Papa told her that there are currently cherry blossoms at Gardens by the Bay, she told him that we had to go! Please pardon my mama for she is not always updated with current affairs since she’s too busy looking after us.
Guess where we went earlier today? Mama said we must avoid the crowd and made sure that we reached the site at 9am.
It’s very cold in the flower dome but my folks were well prepared and brought along cardigans.
My mama likes to admire flowers though she doesn’t like to receive flowers as gifts.
She was all enthusiastic about today’s outing only to realise that none of us were interested in flowers. See, my sister didn’t even want to pose in front of the camera.
She’s quite a poor thing eh? So I think I shall oblige and pose properly. Then I fell asleep because the environment was so shiok (awesome) to sleep in. All was quiet and there weren’t a lot of people. We found out later that the crowd came in at around 10am. So, if you want good photos, go and visit at 9am.
Actually, the cherry blossoms are really pretty, eh? Sugoi desu!
I think the cherry blossoms won’t last long so you should really go down and take a look for yourself.
We had a decent family photo and I think Mama was secretly pleased with that. She reckoned that she wouldn’t need to visit Japan during that period anymore. One thing off her bucket list.
How do you spend your March holidays?
For us, there would be no overseas travel or staycation. Instead, we would just be tourists in our country and try to explore as many places as we could. These days, we opt for places that the kids could enjoy and our first stop is the Keppel Centre for Art Education at the National Gallery Singapore.
Since we are citizens, we do not have to pay for the admission fees. Hooray! #FunforFreeSG
We went straight to the Keppel Centre but before we went in, we got to explore some of the art pieces by our local students.
Maybe our little one will be inspired after admiring these artwork? I can always hope.
We proceeded to the Art Playscape which houses the magical forest and it provides great fun for the kids. Faith took some time to warm up to the environment and after 5 minutes or so, she could be seen running up and down the stairs and exploring the space. Oh, fellow parents, you do have to be with the kids lest they got too excited and hurt themselves in the process. This forest somewhat resembles the Trick Eye Museum and personally I had fun taking pictures.
There is great avenue for pretend play here. Let’s imagine us crossing the river. Oh, look, there’s Mr Crocodile! Be careful!
Our next stop is the Project Gallery where we explore future homes and cities. Here, children think about how different our homes and the way we live will be and they translate their thinking into drawing and writing .
Spend $4 and you could work on this artwork with your child.
After about 20 minutes in the Project Gallery, we proceeded to the Children’s Museum Workshop where the kids could write a postcard to the artist. Obviously, the girl couldn’t write it but she did doddle something on it before posting it.
So we spent slightly more than an hour in the three art spaces and when we popped by the Children’s Museum where kids could create some craftwork, the girl was visibly tired and asked to skip this.
We didn’t stay long at the National Gallery. I would love to but the kids were exhausted and da man had to carry the older one around. We did enjoy the architecture of the supreme court though.
Perhaps, next time?
To avoid the crowd during the school holidays, consider going there early?
I love Chinese books that have good illustrations, well-constructed storyline and more importantly, hanyu pinyin to guide me as I read to my children. One of those books that I personally enjoy reading and therefore to the kids are these books from 乐乐趣 奇妙洞洞书系列.
This book tells of the twelve different months in a year and each line rhymes with the next, making the story a catchy one. After reading once through to Faith, she enjoyed it so much that she asked me to read again and again and again. So I must have read the book thrice in one sitting. And it didn’t stop there. The girl grabbed the book, came to me and asked me to read to her the subsequent days.
I was definitely more than willing to read to her since I enjoyed the story too. I must say that the hanyu pinyin helps a lot in enabling me to read fluently to her.
This book is also a great follow-up to the above activity in which she learnt the numbers in Chinese. The cutting and pasting helps in honing her fine motor skills.
We love the book so much that I went on to ask my friend to help me purchase the series.
These board books are suitable for babies too! When I read the story to Daniel, he was listening intently and each time when I end the statement at a certain intonation, he would smile at me. Someone appreciates my reading!
Go on and borrow some from our local libraries soon! They can be found at the Junior lending section.
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I’ve been meaning to blog but fatigue found me. There are meals to prepare, dishes to wash, floor to clean, clothes to wash, bedsheets to change every other day (Dan poos A LOT), homelearning resources to make, lessons to teach Faith, classes to send her to, BSF and parenting workshop’s homework to complete…and the list goes on. Life as a SAHM can be so mundane, so uninteresting and so tiring. The fact that Dan needs to be carried in the day time adds to my exhaustion and I find myself on my two feet the whole day. That terrible teething period is too painful for him, I guess.
So much has happened in February and I really ought to record them.
::::The Lunar New Year::::
I don’t have a love for the Chinese New Year (CNY). It was fun when I was a child. I remember accompanying my parents to the market to make some final purchases on the eve of CNY and everywhere would be crowded with people. My mom would buy a new set of clothes for us and we helped to do spring cleaning and decorate our home. I love having steamboat for reunion dinner and till this day, it remains the ONE thing that I look forward to. I suspect my parents had intentionally done all these to help us create memories and to know the Chinese traditions. Sadly, we do not have such practices anymore apart from the steamboat and to a certain extent, CNY has lost its meaning. Now, as a parent, I wonder how I should help the children preserve this part of their heritage and I find myself doing some of the things that my parents did when I was a kid.
Reunion dinner at the in-laws and it was Faith’s maiden lohei, with Dan looking on with interest. Bakwan Kepiting, a dish my Peranakan aunt-in-law would make each reunion dinner, is one that I look forward to; it makes me drool.
Home visiting. I dread it especially when you have young kids. Surprisingly, it was pleasant and somewhat enjoyable this year. Faith was enjoying the company she had and Dan was sleeping his time away. Bliss.
For the first time, I hosted my family. I totally don’t know why I haven’t done so previously. When I asked them why they didn’t want to visit my place during CNY, they replied, “Because you didn’t invite!”
Goodness! I didn’t know that we have to stand on ceremony, even with our own family.
:::: Faith @ 39 months old | HFMD ::::
The Friday when Faith’s school was celebrating CNY celebration, the principal called me in the afternoon to inform me that she had direct contact with a pupil who had contracted HFMD. My heart sank as I heard that because I have a baby at home and i wasn’t prepared to deal with a sick baby (I honestly wouldn’t know how). They had to be separated as much as possible and by that, I mean the baby would have to stay in his room the whole time while the older one roamed about in the house. Both K and I were worried because we didn’t want the disease to spread to the other kids should Faith really contracted It. We had to inform our relatives and try to distance the girl from the others. All the while, she was really active and didn’t complain of fever or ulcers until…she had two big red spots…on her nose! IS THIS A SIGN OF HFMD???
She did have mild HFMD according to the doctor. There wasn’t any fever, just one ulcer each at the back of the throat and on the mouth, in addition to a few small red spots on her foot. She’s as active as before and I’m thankful to have the in-laws to come to our place to accompany her while I took care of the baby and the household chores. Loss of appetite? Nope. In fact, it was better than before!
At 39 months old, Faith suddenly took a great interest in writing. I would print copies of worksheets on letters and the Chinese characters and leave it on the table and she would wake up or return from school and occupy herself with the ‘task’. It was a time-saver for me.
She’s getting more independent as she grows older and look for things to occupy herself when I was busy with cooking or the baby. Oh, how I love this age!
Note: It is better to continue to work on children’s fine motor skills before getting them to work on writing. Read more here.
During the last two months, I realised that Faith could memorise the Chinese characters at a faster pace and she could read a few simple readers by looking at the characters (not memorising anymore). This gives me great joy! Many times, I feel that I am fighting a losing battle (I still feel this way) because English has become her dominant language even though she started off with Mandarin. We have made little progress and I have to remind myself to continue to speak to her in Mandarin (which is more difficult for me).
The girl has been showing much love to her baby brother and I’m really thankful for that. She enjoys her music class, loves the outdoors but I’m not so sure if she appreciate artwork. We’ll see.
And yes, I managed to bake a cake for an adorable 1YO girl! So many things have happened and it’s quite a chore to pen them down. I’m glad I could go this far, heh! February looked quite fine to me and I hope it’s been good for you!
Marching on to March now!
5MO Dan is a cheerful boy and loves to flip when he’s placed on the mat or gym. He flashes his most charming smile whenever people chat him up. He’s relatively easy to take care of except…. that he wants to be carried when he naps in the daytime. Thankfully, I have my trustworthy Boba carrier.
One more month and we are off to a culinary adventure. First, let me read up!!
We don’t usually do this.
Nap time is important and I make sure that the kids have sufficient rest before going for outdoor play in the evening. Today was an exception because our dear neighbour was doing some drilling work and the noise was so deafening that it terrified the kids.
I had two wailing kids and to maintain my sanity, I had to leave the house.
Thankfully, the hubs took the afternoon off to relieve me and off we went to Pip’s* Playbox.
*Pip is Esplanade’s colourful mascot for its children’s programmes.
We reached Pip’s PLAYbox around 2.30pm and we were the only ones present. The area has just been cleaned and all was quiet. Perfect for a peaceful afternoon!
There are parking lots for prams and I’m thankful for a clean nursing room and two children’s toilets that are so children-friendly. Faith was telling me not to help her in anything because she could manage it all by herself (she is not that tall).
This is the activity zone where children can busy themselves with craft work. The themes and materials vary throughout the year.
Do you remember the Overhead Projector??? I was so thrilled to see this because it reminded me of my school days and early teaching years. However, the girl was none too impressed and after playing with it for a moment, she was distracted by…
these magnetic blocks and train tracks (from Ikea). She was working on them for a good amount of time and even invited the Papa to join her.
I personally love it that they stock books written by local writers and illustrators and this place is really an inviting space for parents to read to their children. How about a storytelling session?
There are little nook crannies within the PLAYbox for children to grab a book to read and in this case, having some cosy moment with the baby.
An hour later and the crowd streamed in slowly. This is indeed a good meeting place for mothers and children alike. It’s a safe place for young kids to have fun together. I thought Pip’s PLAYbox might appeal to toddlers and preschoolers more.
Esplanade Theatres on the Bay
Opening Hours: 11 am to 6pm
Join Pip’s Club!